If you are faced with criminal charges, Aitken Whyte Lawyers for the Gold Coast, Queensland, can provide you with a complete service in your matter. We take on a wide range of crime matters and assist people with the often daunting process they are facing. The criminal law and going to court for a criminal offence can sometimes be confusing and overwhelming, and we work to ensure from start to finish of a matter that people are well informed, understand the process, and have a chance at the best possible outcome in their case.
The types of offences we take on are not exhaustive, but are still varied. We can assist in matters including but not limited to: assault charges, other crimes against the person, rape or other sexual offences, drug charges, property related offences, and violent crimes.
We also provide specialist representation in relation to driving, licence and traffic related offences. Visit our services page on dui, drink driving, drug driving and traffic offences for full details of the legal services we can provide if you need representation for court.
Whatever your stage in the criminal justice system, it is important that you seek legal advice or representation early on. Even if the police have only requested information from you or would like to question you, you should still be informed of your rights and how to best proceed in the situation. Generally you will have a right to remain silent and to not incriminate yourself in dealings with police, but it is important to remain aware that depending on the relevant criminal laws, you may be obliged to answer certain questions.
Police officers can generally request your name and address if they believe that you have broken the law. Additional information may be required if they believe you have committed an offence related to traffic or drugs. If you do not provide the required information or it is incorrect, you may be committing an offence and the police are obliged to inform you of this.
Additionally, if you have not been arrested you are not required to go to a police station and submit to questioning at the station. While being requested to do so may be stressful, it is helpful to obtain legal advice to inform you of your best course of action and your rights if potentially faced with criminal charges.
If you have been charged with an offence or have recently been arrested, we can also assist you with this process. Your attendance will be required at court if you are given a Notice to Appear, a Summons, or are arrested and given a Bench Charge Sheet. You will initially have to appear in the Magistrates Court for all matters, but depending on the seriousness of the matter your matter may progress to the District or Supreme Court. Which court your matter is in will determine the way it is conducted, and whether or not a jury is involved. If your matter is not serious and you plead guilty, you will likely have your case heard in the Magistrates Court where the Magistrate will determine your guilt or innocence, and ten sentence you. If it progresses to the District or Supreme Court, a jury will determine your guilt or innocence and you will then be sentenced by the judge.
If you are convicted of an offence, then sentencing is an important matter to take into consideration. In the event of sentencing, criminal defence lawyers work to obtain the most appropriate sentence for your case. We will draft submissions to the court to inform the court about you, the circumstances of your case and factors that may help you.
The court will take into account, in determining a sentence:
There are a wide range of outcomes that can occur from sentencing – it is therefore important that we are aware of all your circumstances and can inform the court appropriately about what sentence will be suitable for you. The court has discretion in this matter and we can therefore work towards the best possible outcome for you. Imprisonment, for example, is a last resort and will only occur in a few cases. We can advise as to what sentence and outcome you may be looking at in such a scenario.
The courts system can be complex and intimidating and at Aitken Whyte Criminal Lawyers Gold Coast we work to make things easier for our clients, and attempt to obtain the best possible outcome for them. We can represent you at police stations, work to obtain bail for you if you have been arrested, and will appear in court on your behalf to conduct your matter. We will explain the process and status of your matter as it goes through the court, and make you aware of all your options, their advantages and disadvantages, and advise of the steps needed to obtain an optimal outcome for you. As criminal defence lawyers conduct a wide range of criminal cases and our experience and knowledge will help you through what can often be an extremely stressful period in your life.